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About to view a Proton today... HELP?! 
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Post About to view a Proton today... HELP?!
Hi,

I’m off to view a 1.5 Proton automatic (1993) today. From pictures and talking to the owner, it’s excellent condition and low mileage (under 45k). (Due to life events, I’m not looking for a runaround for a year.)

Looking at https://www.carparts4less.co.uk/car-parts , general service parts seem available, but as the car is old, are there some parts that are unavailable?

I’ve a few questions - hope that’s ok as a newbie?

1) Cambelt - unless there are receipts for recent replacement among the wad of paperwork, should I factor in a new cambelt? I can’t find any details on this online, so is it an easy job for non-specialist mechanics? Are there any quirks and do any tensioners need replacing at the same time?

2) Rust - it has 12-months MOT with one just advisory on rust on the lower leading edge N/S rear wheel arch/sill area. The tester advised it’ll probably need patching for the next MOT. Obviously it’s hard to judge without pictures, but is this a fairly common thing, and is it a complicated area to patch well? The rust isn’t visible from beside the car, so perhaps it’s broken underseal that’s let water in?

If the car is as good as billed, I probably won’t mind a cambelt, a service and welding to give it a new lease of life as there are so few old cars like this on the road? Is that rose-tinted nonsense?

Are there any other main issues I should look at?

Many thanks,

Davey


Wed May 16, 2018 12:15
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Post Re: About to view a Proton today... HELP?!
Hi Davey,
The 1.5 engine is probably about as simple as you can get in regards to cambelt change on a FWD car. I can send you the relevant pages from the manual if you need.

All service parts are still easily available, and not very expensive. For example, a timing belt kit (with tensioner) I sell for £25 including delivery. A water pump is £15 including delivery.

You may not even need to change the tensioner and pump. Some people will argue that you may as well do them at the same time as the belt as you have done all the hard work stripping it down anyway. The manual states you can simply inspect the tensioner and pump and put them back again if they check out ok. The miles are not huge so maybe they are OK.

In regards to rust, they are not bad compared to other cars of the era. Most of the panels are galvanised so they stay in good condition. When they do start rusting, it is always the area you mention where they go first. A lot of them were patched over and lived on for years as the rust doesn't seem to spread far if kept well painted. If you are a handy welder, you may want to repair it neatly rather than simply patching over it. They were all undersealed when they arrived in the country, so broken underseal is sometimes a problem on the rear axle, but I don't think it will affect the arch to sill area. If it is an SE model, it will have stainless steel sill guards (painted black) that may help to hide some of a welded repair.

They are very nice to drive and no reason why they can't be used as a daily driver. I have been using them for the past 12 years, and know a few others who do.


Wed May 16, 2018 17:49
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Hi,

Many thanks for the detailed reply. I bought the car! In desperation, I already ordered a Dayco cambelt kit (with tensioner) from Euro Car Parts, but if you can supply them at £25 that would be great as it's much much cheaper. Can I be cheeky and ask what make they are ? - I've been told so many things about different makes of belt and tensioners - Dayco v Gates v Blueprint, etc, and I'm a bit lost now.

I didn't know about the water pump so I'll get that done as well, as the service history is a bit patchy. I know it's an old car but it's been well preserved and deserves a bit of TLC. It probably needs a coolant change anyway.

The pages from the manual would be great too. The timing belt is a bit beyond me but I've found a local mechanic in Kent who's happy to do it - once I mentioned it's a Mitsubishi engine at heart.

The main downside is a corroded away window lifter rail on the passenger side. The end clip bit has rotted completely. I was hoping to use a special metal glue as I can't find the rail listed anywhere online.

Many thanks again. Cheers.

Davey
---------------
Proudly giving a new lease of life to a low-mileage 1993 Aeroback 1.5 SE.
---------------


Thu May 17, 2018 19:31
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Post Re: About to view a Proton today... HELP?!
Hi Davey. Send me a PM and we will sort it out. I can get you a new window channel as well as its the only proper fix for them.


Thu May 17, 2018 20:29
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se325919 wrote:
Hi Davey. Send me a PM and we will sort it out. I can get you a new window channel as well as its the only proper fix for them.


Have PM'd you. Meny thanks :-)
---------------
Proudly giving a new lease of life to a low-mileage 1993 Aeroback 1.5 SE.
---------------


Sun May 20, 2018 14:51
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Post Re: About to view a Proton today... HELP?!
Hi There, sorry to jump into the conversation but I myself am replacing the timing belt and the other belts at the same time on my Compact auto 1.5.
I ordered the timing belt, power steering belt and the alternator/air con belt, but inspecting under the bonnet I see another belt that I hadn't factored in, is this the water pump belt?

I love my proton but I really hate how difficult it is to find images or information on them. I wish there was a Haynes manual. Do you have any images of the belt side of the engine from when you have changed the belts?


Thanks chaps in advance, and good luck to Davey with his new proton, I think youll find you get quite attached to it I know I have.


Mon Jun 04, 2018 20:29
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Post Re: About to view a Proton today... HELP?!
Actually the belt in question is for the A/C, but seems impossible to find, hopefully its the same size as the PS belt and I'll order two!


Mon Jun 04, 2018 22:25
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Post Re: About to view a Proton today... HELP?!
dagregs wrote:
Actually the belt in question is for the A/C, but seems impossible to find, hopefully its the same size as the PS belt and I'll order two!


Hi,

Try this garage in Sproatley, Yorkshire - http://www.maplegarage.co.uk/
They’re a Proton dealer and can order parts for you. I've just ordered a window lifter channel/rail.

Or send a PM to “ se325919 “. He’s been brilliant getting me parts and has a huge knowledge about my era of Proton!

Good luck.

(P.S. Wish mine had A/C!)
---------------
Proudly giving a new lease of life to a low-mileage 1993 Aeroback 1.5 SE.
---------------


Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:12
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Post Re: About to view a Proton today... HELP?!
Thanks Davey, that is a big help. I'm actually not too far from both the Maple garage sites, so thats handy.
How is your Proton getting on?


Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:09
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dagregs wrote:
Actually the belt in question is for the A/C, but seems impossible to find, hopefully its the same size as the PS belt and I'll order two!

Hi.
Its not the same I'm afraid. Is there a number printed on the old belt by any chance?

If I'm right, the aircon belt on a Compact is not a ribbed belt like the alternator belt and power steering belt, but a V shaped belt instead.


Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:36
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dagregs wrote:
Thanks Davey, that is a big help. I'm actually not too far from both the Maple garage sites, so thats handy.
How is your Proton getting on?


Good luck!

My Proton is doing amazingly well. The more I drive it, the better it runs since it was laid up from 6 months before I bought it - helped by new air filter, oil change and spark plugs, etc. I've fixed a few electrical glitches caused by bad earths and thanks to 'se325919' sourcing a window channel for me, now have an opening passenger window. I want to check the brakes soon as I've no idea what condition the pads/shoes are in - but it passed the MOT ok and it stops on a sixpence.

Luckily I've found my old tools from when I was a young petrolhead faffing about with aircooled VWs. Never thought I'd be using a feeler gauge to gap spark plugs again! My cars over the last 15 years were newish and difficult to work on without specialist dealer equipment so it's great being able to do it myself again.

There is that danger that I'll spend much more than the car is worth, but I'm getting quite fond of my quirky old Proton especially as I'm yet to see another one on the road. It feels like I'm driving a piece of automotive history and it deserves a bit of TLC and a long lease of life. Utlimately, I really need another estate car, so when it's time to part company, I'll have sorted everything and the car will make a great runaround for someone non-mechanically minded.

Cheers!
---------------
Proudly giving a new lease of life to a low-mileage 1993 Aeroback 1.5 SE.
---------------


Wed Jun 06, 2018 14:42
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Post Re: About to view a Proton today... HELP?!
People will never realise what a nice car they are unless they give them a chance. Sadly most people are too blinkered to permit themselves to do that. My first one was in 2006 when I needed a cheap car and didn't find anything I liked in my budget at the local auction that day. Outside the auction, someone was selling his 1.3GE Aeroback for £250. I had never really given Proton a thought before, but thought it seemed fine for that price. I was actually blown away by how good it was and how cheap it was. Unfortunately that one got stolen and burned out, but I had grown to appreciate it so much that I have had Protons ever since. The Aerobacks are surprisingly useful with the back seats folded down. Almost as good as an estate.


Wed Jun 06, 2018 21:34
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se325919 wrote:
People will never realise what a nice car they are unless they give them a chance. Sadly most people are too blinkered to permit themselves to do that.


You've got that in a nutshell. My girlfriend's neighbour saw my car outside her house (they live in a nice 'Telly Tubby" part of town) and told me, "When I drove up, I thought 'What's that piece of sh*t on the driveway'?" !! Can't believe anyone could be so opinionated about an inoffensive car. Although the neighbour has a new Mini with a custom numberplate that spells a name if you squint...

My two young teenagers love it - they've never seen such an old car in real life and love the wind-up rear windows, manual sunroof and, what I believe, is the original Blaupunkt cassette player.

I've just driven two hours along a mix of winding country lanes and dual carriageways, and the car handled well, didn't miss a beat, kept up with the traffic, and the driver's seat was more comfortable than my Subaru. That's pretty amazing for a 25-yr old car.
---------------
Proudly giving a new lease of life to a low-mileage 1993 Aeroback 1.5 SE.
---------------


Wed Jun 06, 2018 23:26
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Post Re: About to view a Proton today... HELP?!
Thanks for the help chaps, I'm still in the process of changing the belts as I only get a couple of hours each evening to work on her. Getting to the timing belt was a pain but it will all be worth it. No AC belt yet but the quest continues.
I agree fully that it seems only those in the know appreciate how good these protons are! I got mine as a cheap runaround for £450 with only 30k on the clock. I've had to make a few repairs and periodic servicing but its been satisfying to keep my "Rose" on the road! The only complaint I have us the lack of a Haynes manual, but it's a fairly simple car to work on.
I wish mine had a sunroof though, that would be cool!!!!


Thu Jun 07, 2018 22:55
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If you could get the number off the old belt it could lead to a replacement. I have got the original proton part number for it, but proton are charging too much. It is not really anything special. If you can count the number of ribs and measure the length I should be able to match it up to an aftermarket brand.


Fri Jun 08, 2018 16:48
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Post Re: About to view a Proton today... HELP?!
That's very kind of you, I'm heading York motor factors in the morning with my belt and part number, hopefully I get someone who feels like helping.
I'll let you know his I get on, and if I need some assistance from yourself.


Fri Jun 08, 2018 22:42
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